The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

June 29, 2007

The Cup cometh over

Former MSU hockey player shares championship trophy with community

For a few minutes Friday afternoon, Ryan Carter was somewhat of a wallflower.

He stood off to the side at Junker’s Bar and Grill, shaking a few hands and chatting with a couple of friends.

Meanwhile, the real celebrity in the room was being mobbed. People squeezed shoulder to shoulder and inched closer and closer to see, touch or take a picture of the Stanley Cup.

“This is exactly what it’s about,” said Carter, the former Minnesota State hockey player who brought the world’s most famous trophy to Mankato as part of his day with the Cup.

Carter played four playoff games for the National Hockey League champion Anaheim Ducks this spring. His 2 minutes, 45 seconds of ice time in the finals, was more than enough to get his name on the trophy and 24 hours to do whatever he wanted with it.

Carter said he insisted on taking the Stanley Cup to the town where he played two seasons of college hockey — at least for a few hours.

The White Bear Lake native barnstormed Mankato with the Cup, holding it up during a ceremony in the Mankato Place atrium and parading it through a few bars before taking it to St. Paul for an evening on the town with family, friends and former teammates.

During the ceremony, Mankato Mayor John Brady proclaimed Friday “Ryan Carter — Stanley Cup Day,” and people in the atrium crowd of around 300 cheered and shouted out thank yous to Carter, who played for the Mavericks in 2004-05 and 2005-06 before signing a free agent contract with the Ducks.

“I saw him downtown after he signed and told him I didn’t want him to go,” said Mavericks fans and season-ticket holder Curtis Meyer said, who was among many who waited more than an hour to see the 115-year-old trophy. “But then this happened and it looked to me like a good thing.”

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